1927 Colour Film Footage of “Ye Olde” London Town [#geekgirl]
“Change This Train’s Direction With Your Mind” [#BrainFrack] [#geekgirl]
#ShockHorror! Women Scientists Who Have Been Screwed by The #Phallocentric System [#geekgirl]
“In April, National Geographic News published a story about the letter in which scientist Francis Crick described DNA to his 12-year-old son. In 1962, Crick was awarded a Nobel Prize for discovering the structure of DNA, along with fellow scientists James Watson and Maurice Wilkins.
Several people posted comments about our story that noted one name was missing from the Nobel roster: Rosalind Franklin, a British biophysicist who also studied DNA. Her data were critical to Crick and Watson’s work, but as several commenters noted, Franklin was robbed of recognition. (See her section below for details.)
She was not the first woman to have endured indignities in the male-dominated world of science, but Franklin’s case is especially egregious, said Ruth Lewin Sime, a retired chemistry professor at Sacramento City College who has written on women in science.” – From 6 Women Scientists Who Were Snubbed Due to Sexism
‘Sitting on a train, wearing Google Glass, afraid to say, “ok glass”‘ [#geekgirl]
Sexist “WTF-ness” Brought to You By Wikipedia [#geekgirl]
”Many female novelists, like Harper Lee, Anne Rice, Amy Tan, Donna Tartt and some 300 others, had been relegated to the ranks of “American Women Novelists” only, and no longer appeared in the category “American Novelists.”
Male novelists on Wikipedia, however — no matter how obscure — all got to be in the category “American Novelists.” In an Op-Ed article I wrote, published on The New York Times’s Web site on Wednesday, I suggested it was too bad that there wasn’t a subcategory for “American Men Novelists.” And what do you know; shortly after, a new subcategory called exactly that appeared.
But there was more. Much more. As soon as the Op-Ed article appeared, unhappy Wikipedia editors pounced on my Wikipedia page and started making alterations to it, erasing as much as they possibly could without (I assume) technically breaking the rules. They removed the links to outside sources, like interviews of me and reviews of my novels. Not surprisingly, they also removed the link to the Op-Ed article. At the same time, they put up a banner at the top of my page saying the page needed “additional citations for verifications.” Too bad they’d just taken out the useful sources.
In 24 hours, there were 22 changes to my page. Before that, there had been 22 changes in four years. Thursday night, a kind soul went in there and put back the deleted sources. The Wiki editors instantly took them out again.
I knew my page might take a beating. But at least I’m back in the “American Novelists” category, along with many other women.
For the moment anyway.”
#Carve Yourself Some Wonderment This Monday Morning [#geekgirl]
Please watch full screen and turn up the volume!
Alchemy is a short film about transformation. In nature, everything is constantly changing: the earth, the sky, the stars, and all living things. Spring is followed by summer, fall and winter. Water turns into clouds, rain and ice. Over time, rivers are created, canyons carved, and mountains formed. All of these elements, mixed together, create the magic of nature’s alchemy.
Shattering the #Stereotypes of America’s Homeless [#geekgirl]
Invisible People goes beyond the rhetoric, statistics, political debates, and limitations of social services to examine poverty in America via a medium that audiences of all ages can understand, and can’t ignore. The vlog puts into context one of our nation’s most troubling and prevalent issues through personal stories captured by the lens of Mark Horvath – its founder – and brings into focus the pain, hardship and hopelessness that millions face each day.
“All She Did Was Join Twitter…” [#geekgirl]
…when Elise Andrew, the brain behind the popular Facebook page I F**king Love Science, posted her Twitter profile picture there last week, some of the page’s 4.3 million fans were shocked to learn her gender—even though Andrew’s identity as a woman was no secret.
#Animal Smarts, They Haz Them [#geekgirl]
You know when you read an article that reports on information you’ve known for years, and you find yourself sitting smugly going “Well, DUH!?”. Then read on, vainglorious [but infinitely wise] comparative psychologists:
New research shows that we have grossly underestimated both the scope and the scale of animal intelligence. Primatologist Frans de Waal on memory-champ chimps, tool-using elephants and rats capable of empathy.
Questions, Not Answers, Regarding the Post-#PyCon 2013 Fallout [#geekgirl]
I’m always curious – as any decent news-hound should be – regarding certain aspects of controversial tech-related dramas. I’m especially curious about those dramas that play out very publicly and create substantial character/brand damage.
So this morning I’ve been intent on writing a long-form post regarding the firing of a PlayHaven employee for making alleged offensive comments at the Python Developer Conference (PyCon 2013) while in earshot of Adria Richards, a SendGrid Employee. Richards tweeted about the incident and complained to PyCon organisers, resulting in Alex Reid and “mr-hank” (the fired PlayHaven employee) being knuckle-rapped over the incident. Subsequently, Richards herself has been fired and although initially there was ample conjecture that this “news” may have been the output of some elaborate DDoS hack, it now seems more likely to be accurate.
Fortunately, my intentions have now jumped up and poked me firmly in my common-sense gland, and in lieu of finishing and posting that traditionally crafted article complete with the oily title of “If it doesn’t add value to the conversation, then it gets deleted” (a direct quote from Richards herself regarding why she’s currently deleting blog comments), I’ve instead started crafting the following list of questions as ponder-fodder. The list isn’t especially comprehensive and, in the effort of full disclosure, it’s undoubtedly laced with my own complicated bias.
Then why do it? Because I’d rather offer readers something that may just break those horrible and vitrolic “win-lose” mentality loops that plague certain social media/blog commentators regarding such controversial issues. I’d also prefer to present an alternative to the multitude of closed-ended and exclusionary “facts” and “answers” such as those being offered by all and sundry regarding the fallout post-PyCon 2013:
- Were the comments observed by Richards at PyCon 2013 actively (or even latently) sexist, or simply incidences of thoughtless comedic material that peppers (and may even attempt to parody) aspects of sexist geek culture? Could they also conceivably have been a mixture of both?
- Were these comments misinterpreted – deliberately or unconsciously – in order to create an incident that would create ongoing controversy and accelerated pageviews?
- If the comments under question had been voiced by two women developers mentioning “big dongles” or “forking” (or shoving socks down their pants), would Richards have complained?
- If the actions Richards undertook regarding the alleged sexist comments were performed by a man instead of a woman, might the outcome, and corresponding furore, be different?
- Is the male gaze in constant operation during events like PyCon, and if yes, how do we create a workable solution for its removal? Should we also acknowledge and discuss other types of “gazes” (or other power loaded stereotypical behaviours embedded within unconscious neurotypical agendas) that might be present at such institutionalised events, with associated bias and layered prejudice (involving privilege and status) also in play?
- When faced with what they think is offensive or hate-based commentary that makes an individual “feel uncomfortable”, how should they react? In today’s constantly “on” world where reports of any action may be instantaneously broadcast, should an individual’s ability to magnify an incident (to the extent where no reasonable or concluding course of action can result) be considered prior to any action taken?
- Is the right to refuse to openly engage – or directly communicate with – an individual who you think is displaying offensive behaviour acceptable, especially when this refusal is based on entrenched bias or inequality?
- If you choose to expose those you think are “in the wrong”, should you be prepared for a certain level of backlash from those who do not view the behaviours as you do? If this level of backlash becomes threatening or vitriolic, how should you respond? How should society at large respond?
- How do we ensure that well-meaning discourse isn’t hijacked for the sake of attention grabbing “netbytes”?
- Would decent journalistic input regarding all of these questions actually help?